MVP Football Preview Excerpt:
A look at Division VI, Region 23 and what to expect this season. We look
at the top teams, players and offer up our playoff predicitons. Who has what? And what will they do?
JJHuddle’s Region 21 Previews and Predictions
TEAMS TO WATCH
Newark Catholic (8-4, D-VI R23 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – LB Connor Shook (5-10, 205, sr.), QB Garrett Vernau (5-11, 175, sr.), OL/LB Trevor Garber (6-2, 195, sr.), TE/DB Tanner Potts (5-10″, 190, sr.), DB Kevin Bourne (5-10″, 170, jr.)
* Outlook – The Green Wave and head coach Bill Franks (78-34 in nine years at NC) are always a threat in D-VI. NC owns eight state titles. Vernau returns after throwing for 1,100 yards and eight TDs a year ago. The Green Wave will have plenty of chances to earn computer points with five D-III schools on their Mid-State League Ohio slate. Of note, NC OL coach Wes Poth is entering his 41st year at NC. Poth has been a part of all eight NC state championships and his teams own an overall record of 381-100-1.
New Washington Buckeye Central (9-2, D-V R21 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – QB/DB Tyler Erwin (6-4, 200, sr.); WR/DB Justin Herrnstein (6-3, 185, sr.); OL/DL Bryce Collins (6-1, 300, sr.); WR/LB/K Adam Paynter (5-11, 175, sr.)
* Outlook – This could be a breakout season for the Bucks who return a ton of talent, TDs and tackles from last year’s playoff team. As a junior, Erwin was named first team All-North Central Conference in football, basketball and baseball. Last year he completed 103-of-176 attempts for 1,811 yards, 22 TDs and just three INTs. Ha also ran 109 times for 401 yards and six TDs. On defense, Erwin picked off six passes, caused two fumbles and had 35 tackles. Herrnstein (first team All-NCC) caught 19 passes for 497 yard and eight TDs, but made his biggest impact on defense where he registered 111 tackles, three TFL, two INTs, two caused fumbles and seven deflections. Collins is a legitimate force on both sides of the ball (108 tackles, 16 TFL, eight sacks) and Paynter is Mr. Versatility. In addition to returning punts and kickoffs (one TD), Paynter also caught 21 passes for 292 yards and five TDs, kicked 35 PATs and had 99 tackles (including 18 TFL, four sacks and two INTs). Getting past Wynford is the big hurdle.
Symmes Valley (9-2, Regional Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – TE/LB Jordan Fulford (5-10, 190, sr.), TE/DB Scott Dial (5-7, 150, sr.), QB/DB Cody Myers (5-9, 165, sr.), LB Alec Herrell (5-9, 165, jr.), DB D.J. Miller (5-9, 155, so.), RB/DL Bo Arthur jr. (6-0, 210, sr.), OL Nick Clay (6-1, 285, sr.), OL Garrett Crawford (6-0, 230, sr.), OL/DL Garrett Foster (6-0, 200, sr.), OL/DL Caleb Holderby so. (5-11, 220, jr.), OL/LB Grant Foster (6-0, 215, sr.)
* Outlook – The Vikings are optimistic this season with the return of eight starters on each side of the ball from last year’s playoff team. Head coach Rusty Webb also said depth is a strength. Grant Foster was the Southeast District defensive player of the year last year and will try to become the first Viking to win the honor twice.
Grove City Christian (3-7)
* Players to Watch – DE/OL Zack Casparro (6-6, 260, sr.), WR/DB Wally Brewer (6-1, 175, sr.), RB/LB Tony Roark (5-7, 185, sr.), QB/DB Ben Whitaker (6-2, 180, sr.), RB/LB Nate Holt (5-7, 175l, sr.), OL/DL Josh High (5-11″, 275, sr.), OL/DL Blair Thompson (6-2, 250, Jr), OL/DL Jordan Edwards (6-2, 290, jr.)
* Outlook – After winning a regional title in 2009, the Eagles stumbled last season. Head coach Kerry Owens brings back a roster that includes plenty of experience and will be bolstered by a large freshman class (20 players). Four starters return on the OL, including Casparro who is a legit D-I prospect (Air Force offer). Brewer is a versatile talent who racked up 920 returns yards and six returns TDs last season (including two on INTs). Roark was GCC’s leading rusher last season (85 carries, 495 yards) and Whitaker returns at QB where he accounted for 17 TDs. Holt adds depth at the skill positions (73 carries, 345 yards, four TDs).
Fairfield Christian Academy (9-1, D-VI R23 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – WR/DB Hayden Welch (6-2, 174, sr.)
* Outlook – The Knights made their first postseason trip last season and want more. Welch is a special talent (43 receptions, 1,109 yards, 14 TDs; five INTs; 51-of-53 PATs). Five road games in the first six weeks is rough.
Harvest Prep (6-4)
* Players to Watch – RB Taimere Fambro (6-2, 185, sr.), LB Terry Harper (6-0, 235, sr.), WR/DB Jordan Gaines (5-11, 175, sr.)
* Outlook – The Warriors were hit by scandal in the offseason and will be ineligible for postseason play until the 2013 football season. Last year’s 6-4 season will also be forfeited because two players who should have been academically ineligible had their grades changed.
Zanesville Rosecrans (3-7)
* Players to Watch – QB/DE Aaron Parry (6-5, 215, sr.), LB Zack Hill (6-3, 230, sr.), WR Jared Dalton (6-0, 160, sr.), OL David Cline (6-3, 265, jr.)
* Outlook – The Bishops are poised to return to the postseason after a one-year absence. Parry doubles as a basketball standout. Rosecrans will play a D-II school (Marietta), two D-III schools (Warsaw River View and Claymont) and two D-IV schools (Coshocton and Meadowbrook).
KEEP AN EYE ON
* Caldwell (9-1) – Despite nine wins, the Redskins were held out of the playoffs last season when they finished ninth in D-V R19. Their 16.65 points however would have been good enough for the No. 2 spot in their new home.
* Beallsville (3-7) – The Blue Devils will lean heavily on junior QB Teryn Jarrett (6-0, 170, jr.).
* Danville (6-4) – The Blue Devils lose just six seniors from last year’s team and are hoping to “take the next step and compete for a Mid-Buckeye Conference Championship and become a playoff contender again” according to head coach Ed Honabarger (60-25 in seven years). Senior RB/LB Quinton Ferenbaugh (6-0, 190) is a two-time All-Ohioan.
ALSO IN THIS REGION
Trimble (7-4, D-VI R23 Quarterfinalist), Reedsville Eastern (7-3), Columbus Africentric (3-7), Colonel Crawford (5-5), Crestline (0-10), Fisher Catholic (1-9), Frontier (5-5), Franklin Furnace Green (4-6), Lucas (2-8), Mapleton (0-10), Corning Miller (2-8), Millersport (0-10), Portsmouth Notre Dame (5-5), Plymouth (2-8), Ridegdale (2-8), Hannibal River (1-9), Sciotoville Community (3-7), South Gallia (4-6), Racine Southern (2-8), Waterford (6-4)
Grove City Christian
Fairfield Christian Academy
Dark Horses: Beallsville, Lucas